Friday, February 28, 2014


The last day of February.
How fast!  It's already one sixth of the year passed!  How was your February?

We had terrible weather in February, especially two big snowfalls made our lives very difficult.  There are still some snow left on the side road or in the shade.
But it was warm like spring today.  I am glad to find my plum tree which I planted early this month started blooming. 
They say from tomorrow it will be cold again.

Many people must have enjoyed watching the Sochi Winter Olympic 2014.

I had some chances to meet new people this month.   And I started something new such as writing newsletter to my friends, yoga and stretching lessons, international activities, and so on.

I hope you had a good month too.


Thursday, February 27, 2014


It was rainy and cold.

There was a visitor in the morning and also in the evening.

I went to tea lesson in the afternoon.  Today's hanging scroll was Hina matsuri (雛祭り), Doll's Festival for March 3.  Next Thursday is already March 6, so this is the last chance to hang that scroll.  There are many things which can be used only once a year.  Sweet's name was Yoshinoyama (吉野山), Mountain Yoshino where is very famous for cherry blossoms.  So the shape and color of sweets were cherry blossoms.  I thought peach must be much better.

After the lesson I went to grocery shopping. 

In the night I went to stretching for two hours.  It was a nice lesson.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


It was fine.

I went to Yoga lesson in the morning.  There are two instructors in Wednesday's lesson.  One of them comes only once a month and today was the day.  It's been more than half year since I met her last.  It was a nice lesson.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


It was fine.

The cherry blossoms of the station were blooming about 50 percent and very beautiful.  The name of this type of the cherry blossom is Kawazu zakura (河津桜) and the color is vivid pink.  The season is earlier and lasts longer compared to the typical cherry blossoms called Somei Yoshino (ソメイヨシノ) which usually bloom from the end of March to early April.  In my town there is a road planted about 1000 Kawazu zakura at both sides and we have Cherry blossom festival from February 15 to March 15.  I saw some people walking along the road viewing flowers.

Today I went to Tokyo to do something. After the first and main thing finished I went to the seminar and I happened to see my friend and her friend whom I wanted to see.  So we went to coffee shop to chat.  There I ate a piece of cake named Sakura (Cherry blossom) Chiffon cake.  
After that I went to see a movie "Hours" which dealt with Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  The rescue story after the big natural disaster reminded me of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the recent big snowfall.  There must be similar medical emergency happened here and there.


It was cloudy and cold.

I went to see a movie Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit in the afternoon.
At night I went to the Palace Hotel to attend the 53rd Anniversary of Independence and the 23rd Anniversary of the Liberation of the State of Kuwait.  I happened to see my ex-boss and some acquaintances from the previous job.
There were many guests and the ambassador greeted everyone of them at the entrance, therefore it took half an hour to get into the venue.
After some speeches we enjoyed various kinds of foods with soft drinks. 
The wife of the ambassador is beautiful and kind enough to take a picture with us.  And a daughter is friendly and we also took pictures.
It was a nice experience.

Monday, February 24, 2014


It was fine but cold.  I stayed at home all day long.

It's been two weeks since the 22nd Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 started.  And it is already the last day.  There were 7 sports and 98 events.   12 events were new from this Olympics.  88 countries and regions joined.
There were 1 gold medal, 4 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals in Japan.  Three of them were obtained by teenagers.  The oldest was 41 years old.
There were some athletes who were expected to get the medal but could not.  I hope they will challenge at the next Olympics in 2018 if possible.
Since there were 5 hour time differences between Sochi and Japan,  most events were done during after midnight.  Therefore I missed many events.  But still I like to see the games. 
Thank you very much for all the athletes.  Congratulations!

Saturday, February 22, 2014


It was fine.

I went to grocery shopping, filled up my car, transferred money and so on in the morning.

I watched a TV drama tonight.  It dealt with families which experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.  There was a couple and they were going to get married and all of their family got together about a week before 3.11.   And the Tsunami made their lives totally different.  Fiance, his mother, and his grandmother lost their lives.  It's been almost three years since that day. 

Friday, February 21, 2014


It was fine but cold.

Early in the morning there was Women's Figure Skating Free Program.  Japanese skater Ms. Mao Asada (浅田真央) was expected to get the gold medal before Olympic, but she fell and got a bad mark at the Short Program, and it was impossible for her to get medals.  However her performance was really nice. 
At Vancouver Olympic she was the silver medalist and cried for regret.  She has made great efforts for the past 4 years to get the gold medal, and most of Japanese people wished for her dreams to come true.  Unfortunately it did not happen.  But I believe everyone who watched the performance was moved.  Thank you very much.  Two other skaters, Ms. Akiko Suzuki (鈴木明子) and Ms. Kanako Murakami (村上佳菜子) also missed the medals but their performances were beautiful too.
 Ms. Ayana Onozuka (小野塚彩那) got a bronze medal for Women's Half Pipe Free Style Skiing.  Congratulations!

Thursday, February 20, 2014


It was another cold day.

In the morning we had a visitor.

In the afternoon I went to tea lesson.  I was the first one and four came later than I.  There are some preparation only the first one can experience.  So I felt lucky.

After the lesson I went grocery shopping.

In the evening I went to stretching lesson for two hours.

Regarding Sochi Olympic Ms. Tomoka Takeuchi (竹内智香), snow boarder got a silver medal.  This is the 7th medal for Japanese, and the first one for women.  Congratulations!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Today is usui (雨水), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms.  The last one was risshun (立春) on February 4, and the next one is keichitsu (啓蟄) on March 6.  Usui literally means rain water.  It is the time for snow to melt and become water, however it was still very cold today.

I went to the yoga lesson in the morning.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014


It was fine.

In the morning I went to Yokohama to see a Japanese movie titled "Chiisai ouchi (小さいおうち): Small House" which was directed by Yoji Yamada (山田洋次 ).  As I wrote yesterday Ms. Hana Kuroki (黒木華) got the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival.  It was a nice movie.

In the afternoon I went to attend a seminar with my friend.

Then we went to a Chinese restaurant.


It was fine.

There was a good news from the movie world.  At the 64th Berlin Movie Festival, which is one of the three biggest world film festivals with Cannes and Venice, 23 years old Japanese actress, Ms. Hana Kuroki (黒木華)  received the Silver Bear for Best Actress.  She is the youngest and the fourth Japanese actress after Ms. Shinobu Terajima (寺島しのぶ) in 2010 who received this award.  The title of the movie is "Chiisai ouchi (小さいおうち): Small House" directed by Mr. Yoji Yamada (山田洋次).  It has been released since last month.  I hope to see it soon.

Monday, February 17, 2014


It was fine, but there were still lots of snow on the road, and I could not use my car.  Instead I walked to the station for nearly half an hour.

I went to Yokohama to attend monthly meetings in the morning and afternoon.

In between I went out for lunch at a Chinese restaurant where I have been interested in visiting with my friend.  Lunch menu is yen 500 flat rate and it was a square meal of a selection of a main dish, rice, soup, pickles, and dessert and free replacement of rice and soup.  It is rather reasonable.

In the evening I had another appointment which lasted for nearly six hours.

As for Olympics, Mr. Noriaki Kasai (葛西紀明), 41 years and 8 months old jumper got the silver medal for large hill jumping.  This is the oldest record.  For him it's been 20 years since he got the last Olympic medal. This is his 7th Olympic.  And this is his first private medal.  He is called "Legend."   Congratulations!

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Good news from Sochi Olympic.
Figure skater Mr. Yuzuru Hanyu (羽生結弦), 19 years old, got the gold medal.  Congratulations!!
This is the first record in Japanese Men's Figure Skating and in Asian Figure Skating history.  And this is the first gold medal for Japan in this Sochi Olympic. 
He is from Sendai, Miyagi (宮城県仙台市), where was damaged by the 3.11 Great Earthquakes and Tsunami.   The first women's figure skating gold medalist of Japan, Ms. Shizuka Arakawa (荒川静香) who got it at the Torino is also from Miyagi.  Mr. Hanyu became the first skater who marked over 100 points (101.45) at the Short Program.
In this Olympic Japanese teenagers had very good records.  At Half Pipe, Mr. Ayumu Hirano (平野歩夢), 15 years old got the silver medal, and Mr. Taku Hiraoka (平岡卓), 18 years old got the bronze medal.  Congratulations!!

Friday, February 14, 2014


Happy St. Valentine's Day!!

How do you celebrate St. Valentine's Day in your country?
In Japan girls and women give chocolate to boys and men they like.  However this year they say many women buy chocolate for themselves because there are many rare and delicious chocolate at this time of the year.

It's been snowing heavily again.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


It was fine.

I went to tea lesson in the afternoon.  There were two pupils before me and two after me.  Today's sweet was named hatsune (初音), the first sound, and looked like uguisu (鶯), Japanese bush warbler.  The first voice of uguisu is called hatsune

I went to grocery shopping later.  There was no bread or other staff.  It might be because of snow again tomorrow.

At night I went to stretching class which my yoga class friend invited me to come.  I was surprised to see my tea lesson friend there.


It was fine but cold.

I went to Yoga lesson in the morning.  We usually use the room in the second floor but there is no air conditioning there, therefore we used the meeting room of the first floor.  There were tables and chairs so we had to clear them to make space.

In the afternoon I went to Shibuya to see somebody.  I enjoyed talking.  After that I went to look for the books but could not find them.   Then I went to see a movie "Rush." 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


It snowed again in the morning. 

Today is a national holiday called kenkoku kinen no hi (建国記念の日), National Foundation Day.  It used to be called kigensetsu (紀元節), but has been changed since 1967.

Tonight I watched my favorite TV program, Kinchan & Katori Shingo the 91st All Japan Mask Grand Prix (欽ちゃん&香取慎吾 第91回全日本仮装大賞).  It used to be on air on the New Year's Day or so.  There were 30 teams attended.  I enjoyed a lot.

I am now watching Snowboard, Men's Half Pipe of the Sochi Olympic.  It is so cool.


It was cloudy.

There was a check person of the sewage disposal facility visiting today.  He comes to check it once in three months though I have never met him before after changing the person in charge.  There were still lots of snow left in our private path and he was very kind enough to clear them.  I did not expect anything but he did just because he thought it would be safe for my family if he did so.  I was going to wait for the snow melted but I appreciate it and I could use the car.
At night I went to Yoga lesson.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


It was fine today.  Snow has been partially melted by the morning.  They say it was the heaviest snow in 45 years  or so in Tokyo and it piled up to 27cm or so.  Trains stopped and afternoon flights were all cancelled yesterday.  But it was a beautiful day today.

There was a final game of women's Mogul today.  Ms. Aiko Uemura (上村愛子) has participated in this event since 1998 Nagano Olympic when she was 18 years old and was ranked in the7th for the first time, then next 2002 Salt Lake City ranked in the 6th, 2006 Trino ranked in the 5th, and 2010 Vancouver ranked in the 4th, then 2014 Sochi we expected her to get the medal.  However she finished as 4th again.  Though she did not get the medal, she looked satisfied with her performance.  So we should say "Congratulations!"

As another big news, there was a Tokyo gubernatorial election.  Mr. Yoichi Masuzoe (舛添要一) won the election and became a new governor of Tokyo.


It has been snowing since last night and this is the biggest fall for 20 years or so.  We seldom have snow here but it's already piling more than 10 cm or more.

I had three appointments today but canceled all for this snow and it was right because the train was also canceled due to this snow.

The 22nd Winter Olympic in Sochi was opened at 20:14 to accord the year 2014.  There is time difference so it was after midnight here.  I am looking forward to seeing some events.
I have  been to see many Olympic games since 1992 and I went to two of them in Winter games in Nagano 1998 and Salt Lake City 2002.  So it's been already 12 years since I went to see them last.  How fast time flies!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


It was fine, but very cold. It is estimated to have a big snow or the biggest snow ever tomorrow.

There was a visitor in the morning.

Yesterday I got many eggs and broccoli from my tea master.  Therefore I tried to cook the Spanish omelet called Tortilla Espanola.  Ingredients are eggs, potatoes, onion, salt, and olive oil.  I wanted to make it beautifully, but it did not appear so.... though taste was OK.   I need more practice.   

Friday, February 7, 2014


It was very cold today.

I went to tea lesson in the afternoon.  I used to go there around 6 PM while I was studying for the past 6 months, but today I went there after lunch.  There were three pupils before me and two after me.  So it took nearly three hours or more to finish making tea and drinking tea.
Today was the first lesson of this year.  We usually have the first tea ceremony called hatsugama (初釜) in the middle of January, but this year it was cancelled because of our master's health condition.
The name of today's sweets was harugasumi (春霞), spring haze, but it was still winter today.  Flowers of today were plum, white and red camellia which are only used as buds because the flower drops and it reminds of guillotine and it was not good for samurai (侍).
A new word of today was shorai (松籟) which means the sound of boiling water in the pot. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014


It was fine but very cold.

I used to go to practice Yoga in the morning of Wednesday but for the half year I went to business trainings to Yokohama  and  I did not go.  Today I went there after a half year.  There was nobody I remembered.

In this winter my address book of the iPhone has disappeared three times.  I could not use the backup data unfortunately so that I started registering the datum one by one. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Today is risshun (立春), one of the nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms.  The last one was daikan (大寒) on January 20, and the next one is usui (雨水) on February 19.  Risshun literally means stand spring.  It is the beginning of spring.  However it was very cold and snowed somehow.

Today we renewed the contract of fire insurance for 5 years.  They say these days there are so many natural disasters, and the insurance companies are in the red.  Especially the damages from wind are increasing.

I got two letters, one was the reply for the new year's card and the other was the invitation for the reunion trip from the friend of the 44th Peace Boat Cruise.  It's been already 10 years since I circumnavigated by the 44th Peace Boat.  Some people have got together every year since the trip was over.  And this is the 10th trip and the last one.  I have never joined the reunion trip but it may be interesting.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


It was fine and rather warm today.

Today is setsubun (節分), which literally means dividing the season.  There are four seasons in Japan and there are four setsubun.  However we mean the day before spring especially as setsubun.  On this day we scatter the roasted soybeans to drive demons away, and eat the same number of soybeans as your own age.  At night we eat a piece of the rolled big sushi called ehomaki (恵方巻) to face the good luck direction of the year without saying anything but wishing your dreams.

Today I went to the recently opened home goods store and bought four trees though I did not mean to do so.  I have wanted to have some fruit trees for a long time.  I happened to find the nursery trees in front of the shop and decided to plant them.  They are cherry, plum, persimmon, and kawazu zakura (河津桜) which is pink cherry blossom blooming in February.  I hope they will grow and bear some fruits in the future.   

Sunday, February 2, 2014


It was a cold rainy day here, but many places in Japan it seemed rather hot according to the news.

There was a good news from Lausanne, Switzerland.  Japanese high school students got the grand prix and the second at the 42nd Prix de Lausanne.  It is a competition of ballet dancing aged 15 to 18.  This time 73  ballet dancers participated from 15 countries.
It's been 25 years since the professional ballet dancer Tetsuya Kumakawa (熊川哲也) got the grand prix there. 


A new month has started.  February is nigatsu (二月) and its old name is kisaragi (如月) in Japanese.  There is another kanji character (衣更月) which means that it is the coldest season and to avoid the cold we wear one more clothes.
It is the season of the old new year or Chinese New Year.
I think it is a good time to start something new.  And I started writing an email letter to my friends who have the same vision to the future.

Today is the last day of my commuting ticket to Yokohama so that I was going to Yokohama to see a movie.  But I had a very important monthly meeting and dinner, and the schedule did not meet, then I gave up going.  Instead I visited some shrines and went to grocery shopping.  On the first day of the month is a good time to visit shrines.

The meeting and dinner was very nice, there were eleven people tonight and we enjoyed once a month getting together at a special restaurant. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014


It was fine and rather warm..

Today one event was canceled,therefore I stayed at home and prepared for the speech at the meeting tonight.

In the afternoon I went to a post office to send an application and pay the tax. On the way back home, I went to a newly opened big retailing shop to see what it is like.  I was just going to see the inside, but there were something I have been looking for for a long time,  and I bought it and other stuff because they were very cheap compared to other stores.

At night I had a meeting and delivered the speech about my experience.